Page 48 - GCN, Feb/Mar 2018
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                                 case study     PUBLIC SAFETY New Orleans monitors
crime in real time
A new command center uses video from strategically mounted cameras and license-plate scanners to help police respond to violent crimes
Just ahead of its busy season of hosting football bowl games and its world-famous Mardi Gras cel- ebration, New Orleans opened the Real Time Crime Monitoring Center to capture video footage from strategically mounted cameras and license-plate scanners for use in responding to violent crimes.
“We’ve had a couple of great successes so far,” said Aaron Miller, director of the city’s Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Office, which oversees the center that opened in November 2017. “Over the first weekend, we were able to...provide video evidence for \\\[police\\\] in a number of fairly significant inci- dents, everything from armed robberies to assaults.”
During the first weekend of the Mardi Gras celebration in February, the center assisted in 17 cases, and the video it col- lected has since helped identify suspects and vehicles used in aggravated battery shootings.
The center can also provide real-time information to the city’s Fire Depart- ment, Emergency Medical Service and other public safety partners.
The city connected Motorola’s Com- mandCentral Aware software to its Motor- ola PremierOne computer-aided dispatch system to integrate voice, data and video. When a 911 call comes in, a dispatcher enters information about the event, gen- erating an item number that also shows
on the screen in the monitoring center. If the incident it is life-threatening, the sys- tem’s software-defined triggers will au- tomatically spin up the cameras that are near the incident.
“We don’t need to be watching foot- age and just staring and hoping to get lucky,” Miller said. “We’re letting the software drive us or letting the software be the one to decide where to look and when to look.”
public safety-grade storage solution that then allows for all of the appropriate sharing and permissions to happen on the same pathway.”
The main monitoring room where technicians view the footage is highly secure. They must pass through two access-control doors, and the building is under internal surveillance. In the room, cameras are positioned to monitor each terminal, and users can see only the vid-
“We don’t need to be watching footage and just staring and hoping to get lucky.”
Technicians can also view camera feeds near the incident to catch someone fleeing the scene. They relay the infor- mation to a dispatcher, who alerts offi- cers on the street. “They can make better decisions about either catching perpetra- tors or making sure that we’re sending the right resources,” he said.
The center uses the same system that stores video from the city’s in-car and body-worn cameras. “When there is video related to an incident, the video is uploaded to the same place for the same process that an officer’s body camera footage is uploaded, so it’s tagged and associated in the same way,” Miller said. “Those data files are then together in a
eo their permissions allow them to view. Users cannot access the video from any terminal outside that room, and they cannot use removable storage devices.
What’s more, the software has audit trail capabilities so officials can see what users clicked on.
New Orleans’ center is part of a $40 mil- lion modernization effort that included issuing new Wi-Fi-enabled radios to first responders. City officials expect to spend about $2.5 million on the cameras and in- stallation and will eventually deploy about 120 license-plate readers and about 250 cameras in hotspots citywide. In addition to the city-owned cameras already in place, the total will be about 300, Miller said. •

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